A Simple Rite

A threefold rite for cleansing, blessing, and bringing things back to center.

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Gather: a candle, paper and writing utensil, a heat-proof vessel for burning, a bowl of pure water, a bowl of wine, an image of a labyrinth

Strip yourself of jewelry and clothing if possible.  Begin in darkness. Meditate in silence. At this point you may wish to pray to Dionysos and Ariadne as guides of the labyrinth.


When ready, light the candle.  Stare into the flame.  Open yourself up to what your current emotional state is.  Acknowledge what places are burning.  Know that all emotion and conflict are threads which can lead you to your core.

On a piece of paper, slowly draw a labyrinth (using the image as a guide, if you need to).  When you are finished, trace the pathway slowly, allowing things to surface as you do.  Name what you need to name, vocalize the emotion, or just breathe and give it space.   Do this as many times as you need to.

Intone, chant, or yell:

“Eirene. Polemos. Aletheia. Pseudos. Dionysos.”  (Peace. War. Truth. Lie. Dionysos)

Light the labyrinth on fire.  As it burns, feel your own core burning brightly in response.

Anoint yourself with the ashes.


Place the bowl of water comfortably in front of you.  Ideally, so that you can see your reflection in it.  Trace a labyrinth on the surface of the water.  See what else surfaces.

Intone, chant, or whisper:

“Dionysos. Aletheia. Soma. Psyke.”  (Dionysos. Truth. Body. Soul.)

Anoint yourself with the water.


Place the bowl of wine in front of you.  Trace a labyrinth on its dark surface.  Surrender to the mystery.

Intone, chant, or sing:

“Bios. Thanatos. Bios. Aletheia. Zagreus. Dionysos.” (Life. Death. Life. Truth. Zagreus. Dionysos.)

Take a drink of wine.  Offer the rest to the gods, with gratitude.

The bowl of water, if you are outdoors, may be poured over your head or poured into the earth.

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Aridela Pantherina is a Dionysian and polytheist of no particular consequence (or perhaps too many consequences). Her passions are changeable but generally include music, dance and hierobotany.  She currently resides in the deserts of the Southwest and she looks forward to being struck by lightning. She blogs at ariadneinexile.blogspot.com


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